Five Reasons You Have to Visit Jamaica.
1. The People
I think one of the best reasons to go to this amazing island is because of the people. They all make you feel so welcome, and there seems to be a genuine wish to show you their island. Not only is there an authentic welcoming atmosphere, the locals are some of the funniest people you will meet with a remarkable sense of humour. It seems somehow that no matter how cool you think you are, every tourist will always seem very uncool in Jamaica. I don’t know what it is, but I think the combination of the laid-back aura of the locals, combined with their vibrant personalities makes them very unique. Therefore, if you do find yourself staying in a hotel in Jamaica, I couldn’t advise you any more to get out of the resort and go meet people, you won’t regret it!
2. The Culture
Next on my list is the culture in Jamaica. Out of everywhere I have been in the world, which includes a lot of countries, no culture has ever outdone Jamaica for me. It seems so different from back home but yet still engaging and loveable. The music has got to be one of highlights. Every year in July, they have a festival in Montego Bay called Sumfest, and if you can I would recommend trying to work this into your holiday. They have two nights; dancehall night and international night. They are different but equally great. If you want to experience some real Jamaican culture, music and dancing, it’s a great place to go. My next point about culture, may not been seen as a benefit by all tourists. This the laid-back approach to life in Jamaica. It means Jamaica is an amazing place to relax and become inspired. However, it also means not everything will be on time, or perfect. The phrase ‘mi soon come’ is customary around Jamaica. I can see how this might be annoying, but you have to embrace Jamaica with all its ethos, and then you will really feel at home.
3. The Beaches
The Caribbean is known for its beaches, and Jamaica does not disappoint on this front. Most hotels and resorts will feature their own private beaches which are likely to be very nice. However, there is little point me telling you about these private and exclusive beaches when there are so many. I will tell you about a beach we visited this summer though on my last day. It features on the north side of the island, about an hour east of Montego Bay and is called Leroy’s. It’s a public beach and when we arrived, I was astonished by its beauty. We must have been the only people on the beach, and suddenly you feel so distant from all the massive hotels, the tourists and just really in the heart of Jamaica. The water was glistening blue and so clear you could see every detail through it. The sand was so silver, only normally existing on postcards and I couldn’t believe we were the only people there. I’m not going to lie, I’m not a big sand fan. I like looking at it, but I’ve never quite understood people who just lie in it after a swim. However, there I was lying wet in the sand and enjoying it. The beach must have been special! It felt like a hidden haven, and I hope it stays like that for as long as possible. So, even with your own beach at a hotel, it’s always worthwhile venturing out to experience something very different.
4. The Food
Caribbean food is one the things I most look forward to when visiting Jamaica. Often when hotels serve mainly international food, it’s hard to experience the real Jamaican cuisine, so I urge you to get out and try it. The main dish for breakfast that Jamaicans have is salt fish and ackee. I could lie and say I love this but I won’t. Not a big a fan myself but I would still recommend giving it a try and deciding for yourself! I do love Jerk Chicken with rice and peas though. You may have already had this without visiting Jamaica but make sure you get some if you do visit. I would recommend scotchie’s in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay to anyone wanting to try some jerk food. Curried goat is also a delicacy in Jamaica, and again it’s very nice! A final note on food, is it’s a great idea to stop off at a fruit stand on the side of the road if you get a chance. Not only does this feel like a very cultural experience, but the fresh local fruit is amazing!
5. The Experiences
Finally, and I think my favourite things about Jamaica is the experiences and activities available. I could write for pages on things to do in Jamaica, and if you want to know more, just drop us an email. However, I will just tell you about one day on our recent trip which I hadn’t experienced before. We headed off to just outside Negril to try out a blue hole we hadn’t been to before. It’s a bit off the beaten track so watch out for signs directing you. When we arrived, it was a very cool, relaxed place with a hole in the ground featuring a natural spring at the bottom. You could jump from anywhere at the top, and some of the lifeguards there attempted crazy jumps from trees above this hole. There was ladder leading all the way down, so you didn’t have to jump and could get out of the blue hole. Not only was this an awesome place to visit, it’s also a perfect place to capture some amazing photos. @henry.nathan got some epic shots, with the use of underwater protection provided by Aquatech Water Housing (https://aquatech.net/). From this, we headed off for lunch at a hotel in Negril called The Rockhouse. This is one of my favourite hotels on the island and really encapsulates Jamaican culture. The lunch and cocktails/juices were superb and then we explored the hotel. Again, this was a great place for some photography. The hotel was filled with secret little caves and cliffs to jump off. It was a lot of fun and we got some great shots. If you can stay here then do, but if not make sure you give it a visit.
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